Bottling of the First Vintage
Happy new year to everyone out there! I hope that everyone had a great new year, and hopefully had some good wine to help bring it in as well. I myself brought in the New Year bottling our first vintage of wine at the Nichols household. The 2011 vintage is a Concord grape wine, and we managed a mere seven bottles. Yes I know, Concord wines are not considered “fine” by most wine drinkers, but this was mostly an experiment, or practice run to see how our wine making skills are doing. Now, considering that the batch was made with mostly beer making tools and equipment, it turned out a little better than expected. The batch was only racked once, and this was mostly to make sure we had some liquid left, as racking the wine more than one or two times wouldn’t have left us much of anything.
The first initial tasting prior to bottling was interesting to say the least. The wine was a little cloudy initially, however it did clear up after a short while as most if not all the cloudiness was sediment. The nose on the wine was definitely fruity, or grapey as in the smell you get from grape juice. It also had an earthy or muskiness to it, the same type of qualities associated with most wines made from indigenous vitis Lubrusca grapes such as Concord. Most wine snobs err, I mean experts, refer to this smell and character as “foxy”, or would say the wine has quite a bit of foxiness to it. Anyways, the wine also had a strong sulfury odor to it as well, which would most likely indicate that we probably added too much in the way of sulfites. However this could have protected the wine from complete oxidation, ad I didn’t really detect any odors that would lead me to believe that the wine was oxidized. On the palate the wine was a lot drier than expected, and did have some fruitiness to it. I am hopefully that bottle aging it will allow it to get better. But even if it doesn’t, this experience can only help, right? Besides making wine is a learning process, and I’m already looking forward to the 2012 vintage, and also hoping we get more than a six pack out of it 🙂